Are predictive dialers illegal?

Predictive Dialers: A guide to TCPA compliance

A guide to TCPA compliance

What does the Telephone Consumer Protection Act prohibit about auto-dialing?

Predictive dialers have become an integral part of modern call centers and telemarketing operations, but their use has raised questions about their legality. Predictive dialers are automated systems that make a high volume of outbound calls, connecting agents with answered calls, thereby increasing efficiency. However, the automated nature of these systems can sometimes lead to issues related to compliance with various laws and regulations. Are predictive dialers illegal? In this article, we will explore the legality of predictive dialers, discussing the rules and regulations governing their use.

Are predictive dialers illegal?

Are predictive dialers illegal

Are predictive dialers illegal? A predictive dialer isn’t illegal, but it is illegal under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) prohibits marketers and advertisers making use of autodialers, including predictive dialers from making unwanted calls. Calls made by auto-dialers without consent prior to the express permission of the recipient of the call is prohibited. In general the TCPA bans unintentional automated telemarketing calls, also known as call-backs. Calls to cell phones or calls from landlines can be handled differently.

The TCPA is a federal law that restricts automatic calls, faxes and text messages from Telemarketers and other companies. The law was enacted by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations. The TCPA allows the victims of illegal calls to claim damages up to $500 per illegal call or fax. Although the TCPA was in place since 1991 it is now a subject of frequent change. The Federal Communications Commission often updates its rules to reflect technological advancements and ensure that consumers are protected from telemarketing scams in a more effective manner.

A new set of rules and regulations was introduced in 2013, dramatically protecting consumers by requiring telemarketers to obtain an individual’s written consent before making a call or sending texts. FCC also gave the safe harbor of TCPA responsibility for accidental calls to telephones that were recycled to help strengthen the contact center’s DNC compliance. A business that mostly sends texts to clients should be aware of TCPA changes.

What type of predictive-dialing phone calls are prohibited by TCPA?

The TCPA rules are applicable to all common carriers as well as other marketers. Below are calls which TCPA bans and exceptions.

  • Calls to cell phones: Mobile phone calls made that use any type of recorded or artificial voice, without your consent is illegal. Additionally, calls to mobile phones by using an automated dialing system, without the customer’s consent is illegal. It is important to remember that this applies to non-telemarketing as well as telephone calls for marketing.There are exceptions, such as white collar criminals and healthcare alerts, or emergency calls. There are however exceptions to these calls for example, food or drug alerts. The type of consent needed is contingent on the nature of the call. Telemarketing and advertising calls to the cell phone must be accompanied by written consent. So, if a caller attempts for you to buy something from them, they need to obtain your written consent. The consent document must clearly provide the consent of the buyer for automated phone calls from the business.It is important to note that calls from non-telemarketing cell phones are also illegal in the event that they are not made with a consent of the consumer. But, consent to some of these calls does not need to be recorded in writing. If a consumer has given their consent to being contacted before, they are able to withdraw their consent at any time. Any call made after the revocation is considered illegal.
  • Residential phones: It is against the law for telemarketers to auto dial landlines with a recorded or artificial voice without obtaining the consent in writing.
  • Exceptions of landlines and residential phones
  1. Calls that are completely informative
  2. Emergency calls for emergencies
  3. Commercial calls that don’t include an advertisement are not the term “telemarketing”
  4. It is also permitted to make use of an auto-dialer in order to connect to a landline so in the event that there isn’t recorded or prerecorded artificial voice that is used.
  5. Calls are made for non-commercial use
  6. There are other exceptions to calls for any number.
  • Time of day TCPA restrictions: The Telephone Consumer Protection Act prohibits all phone calls made prior to 8 and after nine.
  • Contact center compliance: TCPA restrictions on lawful pre-recorded calls: Even when an automated call is made with consent of the consumer, the call has to be in compliance with various regulations. A message from an automated service should include a contact number that permits the customer to make a do not call request.
  • Any automated message must recognize the caller: To send automated telemarketing messages the opt-out option must be automated and easily accessible by the consumer.
  • Revoking consent on telemarketing calls: If a consumer has given consent to the call, this consent may be revoked. Telemarketers must keep track of customers who request not to call and they have to respect the preferences of the customer. Customers are able to revoke their prior consent to be a part of any future calls. This applies even if the number of a customer is not listed on the list of numbers that do not allow calls. If the telemarketer calls you again, they’re in violation of the law. Remember this applies to texts. When you are revoking consent, pick the method that permits you to prove the cancellation, such as text, email, or recorded calls.
  • Illegal auto dialer text messages: The Telephone Consumer Protection Act treats text messages as calls. Thus the same rules applicable to calls made by cell phones apply to text messages. If a consumer receives a message trying to sell something and he hasn’t given his permission, in writing or in writing, to receive the text and it’s illegal. Even a text message that is not telemarketing without the consent of the customer is unlawful, unless it’s for an emergency or health-related. The process of revocation is as simple as responding to the text message that you don’t want to receive. If the sender continues texting, it is in violation of the law.

What is the penalty for violating TCPA predictive dialer restrictions?


The TCPA allows those who have been harmed by illegal calls and text messages to sue the person who made the illegal call or text and seek a maximum of $500 for each illegal phone call or text. If the violation is intentional, the penalty could go as far as, 500.00 for every call or text. Because of the lawful recoverability of damages, the majority of consumer lawyers will offer those who have been harmed by illegal calls with no expense from the client. Special exemptions and treatment are available for certain kinds of calls. The below calls are especially addressed:

Mobile phone numbers from a landline
In case you port a number from a landline to cell service, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act restrictions on cell phone calls do not apply for the first fifteen days. Nonetheless, the caller knows this is a cell number or if the number is already listed on the caller’s do not call or the national do not call list, the exemption does not apply.
Calls by tax-exempt nonprofits
A phone call from a tax-exempt non-profit is not phone solicitation. This does not include these calls from most of the crucial sections of the law. Nonetheless, more of the Act’s provisions to companies hired by non-profits to place calls. Those organizations with the Federal Communications Commission company do not call lists.
Texts or calls from your mobile service provider about your service
Calls associated with healthcare
Not subject to the written consent requirement. The caller must still have consent, but consent can be verbally offered or implied by providing a number.
Calls to assisted living facilities and hospital rooms
No calls using auto-dialers or prerecorded or artificial voice may be placed in a patient’s room in an elderly home, hospital or other health care facility, or other similar facilities.
Calls to emergency numbers
No calls using an autodialer or prerecorded or artificial voice may be placed on an emergency line of a hospital, service office, medical physician, poison control, health care facility, or fire protection or law enforcement agency.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a predictive dialer?

The predictive dialer is an automated telephone dialer that can make phone calls prior to the time an agent is in. The dialer makes several calls over lines and hangs up when it gets an answer machine or sends messages. If a live agent is spotted on the line and the dialer is connected to the correct person on the phone.

The predictive dialer can be described as one of the types that is an automated caller. It is designed to improve agent efficiency by contacting as many leads as they can. The predictive dialing system filters out disconnected lines, calls that are not answered as well as fax machines and also uses the ability to detect answering machines. This helps reduce the amount of unanswered calls which means that agents have more time with clients.

Predictive dialers can be found in various varieties, including cloud-based services, hardware systems or as part of an integrated Contact center system.

What are the benefits of a predictive dialer?

A predictive dialer is created to improve the effectiveness of agents by contacting the most leads possible. Here are a few of the main advantages:

  1. Increased employee productivity: Reduced downtime for agents means more time with customers one-on-one. Predictive dialers utilize algorithms to calculate the duration of calls and automatically assign it to an agent.
  2. Improved lead generation: Predictive dialers can increase the number of calls received while increasing the quality of the calls. If agents are able to answer more calls, they have more chances to convert more leads.
  3. More closed sales:  Agents can focus their time focusing on what is important for your business closing sales.
  4. Enhanced customer service: Predictive dialer software lowers the possibility of human error, particularly in periods of high volume calls. Customers can also set up calls with agents at times that are convenient to them.
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